Our Staff

Rose Lopez
Outreach and Programs Associate

Rose Lopez believes in the power of a good story. She has also taught creative writing at the undergraduate level and, for more than two years, tutored minority and first-generation college students on their academic writing. She is passionate about making educational opportunities available to all. Rose has taken on unpaid internships in the past, but now the only job she does for free is raising her two daughters. She will graduate in Fall 2020 with her Master of Fine Arts in Creative Writing from Florida International University.  She has drafted op-eds on social, economic, and reproductive justice for major non-profit organizations. Her creative writing has appeared or is forthcoming in Big Muddy Journal, the Drunken Odyssey, and the Normal School. Rose is also a proud Army veteran.

Carlos Mark Vera
Co-Founder, Executive Director

Carlos Mark Vera is the Co-Founder and current Executive Director of Pay Our Interns. Originally from Colombia, Carlos was raised in California, but moved to Washington, D.C. to attend American University. While at AU, Carlos was an unpaid intern at the White House, the European Parliament, and the House of Representatives. He knows firsthand the struggles of trying to survive while interning for free.  Under his leadership, Pay Our Interns successfully convinced Congress to pass more than $31 million in funding for interns and has helped nonprofits, companies, and presidential campaigns create their internship programs.

Carlos’ efforts on Capitol Hill led him to be named a Forbes 30 Under 30 Honoree, Echoing Green Fellow, Camelback Ventures Fellow, a Top 20 Changemaker by NBC Latino, and an Aspen Ideas Fellow. He has been featured in The Washington Post, NPR’s All Things Considered, The New York Times, CNN and The Atlantic. He has also written for The Washington Post, Teen Vogue, USA Today, and NBC Latino.  Carlos proudly served in the Army Reserves as a mechanic for 8 years.

Habiba Mohamed
Federal Affairs Lead

Habiba Mohamed is an advocate – always fighting to center those who have yet to see themselves in the halls of power. She’s the daughter of Somali refugees and a proud first-generation college student. She’s a 2016 graduate of D’Youville College in Buffalo, NY. Habiba knows the barriers unpaid labor reinforce and is working to expand access to paid and well-rounded internship experiences for people in our communities. Building on her experience with Journey’s End Refugee Services, the Office of Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, and most recently the Congressional Progressive Caucus, Habiba is excited to remind policymakers that we should all be afforded the opportunity to not only survive—but to thrive.

Regina Monge
Development and External Relations Lead

Regina Monge is passionate about diversifying pipelines of power by investing in people and leveraging coalitions to challenge the status quo. Through paid and unpaid internships, she connected with mentors who championed her. Grateful for their stewardship, she hopes to pay it forward by making those opportunities more accessible for others. Previously, she was on the campaign trail for barrier-breaking women of color and has flown across the country to train women leaders to run for office. She is also an advisor for Blue Future which invests in progressive youth organizers by connecting them to electoral campaigns. Regina is a graduate of Miami-Dade County Public Schools, Miami Dade College and American University.

Mario Sanguinet
Research and Communications Specialist

Mario Sanguinet developed an interest in the college-to-career connection after teaching college for a few years and hearing a few students ask: “How will this class help me get a job?” He has been teaching college students how to become better humans by focusing on their relationship and public speaking skills since 2014. He has also worked on local economic development issues like Smart Cities, Urban Agriculture, and San Diego’s Creative Economy.  Occasionally, he writes about San Diego’s arts and culture. He graduated with a bachelors, cum laude, and masters in Communication from San Diego State University.

Aalayah Eastmond
Research and Development Intern

William A. Powers
Of Counsel

Shontrice Barnes
Research Fellow

Brittney Jimenez
Research Fellow

Sadé Ratliff
Writing and Communications Intern

Arielle Geismar
Communications and Social Media Intern

Lizbeth Luevano
Programs Intern

Mark Antonio Williams
Research Fellow

Avalon Fenster
Policy and Community Outreach Fellow

Vaishu Jawahar
Research Fellow

Tiffany Win

Danielle Germain
Communications Fellow

Board Members

Guillermo Creamer
Blue Haven Initiative

Adele McClure
Executive Director of the Virginia Legislative Black Caucus

Antonio Tijerino
President and CEO of the Hispanic Heritage Foundation

Colin Rogero
A Partner of “76 Words”

Jonathan Muniz
Sr Manager, Digital Product Mgt at CVS Health

Veronica Morales
Senior Associate, KPMG